Eric L. Johnson (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Before joining SBTS, Dr. Johnson taught courses in psychology, theology, and Christian worldview at Northwestern College in Minnesota for nine years. He has contributed to numerous articles in the field of Christian psychology, arguing for the necessity of theology in counseling and psychological research. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Psychology and Theology, and in 1998 he was editor for a special issue of the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, entitled “Psychology within the Christian Tradition.” He authored articles for the Baker Encylopedia of Psychology and Counseling and has co-edited and contributed to two books: Christianity and Psychology: Four Views and God Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents God. He has also written Foundations for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal.
Humans were created by the triune God to manifest his glory, most particularly by their increasing resemblance to his form. However, this developmental process is not inevitable or easy because of human sin, finitude, and creaturely capacities that can be compromised in a variety of ways. The triune God’s missions to promote this developmental end entail the human receptivity of their word and work in communion with him. Human maturation, education, church life, spiritual formation, counseling, and psychotherapy are all supposed to contribute to this redemptive-transformational process. The project I am proposing attempts to take into account relevant scriptural teaching, systematic and biblical theology, philosophy, neuropsychology, developmental psychology, and psychotherapy theory to contribute to a “transdisciplinary” model of Christiformity, the biopsychosocial and ethicospiritual process of conformity to the image of Christ that is intended to be at the heart of Christianity.
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